MBC wins an appeal against Microsoft

Published: Friday, Dec. 31 2004 12:00 a.m. MST

The U.S. 10th Circuit Court of Appeals in Denver has struck down a lower court's decision ordering a Utah company to pay nearly $2 million in damages to tech giant Microsoft.

Microsoft, based in Redmond, Wash., claims that Salt Lake-based MBC Enterprises purchased and sold counterfeit Microsoft Windows 98, Office and Microsoft NT Server software.

According to court documents, the lower court awarded Microsoft nearly $2 million in statutory damages for copyright and trademark infringement and issued a permanent injunction against MBC Enterprises, prohibiting the company from engaging in business activities related to Microsoft software.

However, the 10th Circuit Court reversed the lower court's grant of summary judgment in favor of Microsoft, dismissing monetary damages and the permanent injunction.

"We conclude there are genuine issues of material fact that preclude the entry of summary judgment," the 10th Circuit Court said in an order this week. "No counterfeit units of software were found during a search of MBC's offices, and there is no evidence of counterfeit software being obtained from any of MBC's customers."

Calls seeking comment from Microsoft and MBC Enterprises were not immediately returned to the Deseret Morning News Thursday.

Two counterfeit units of Windows NT Server software were found in the possession of a Michigan-based

company that allegedly purchased the software from MBC. But the 10th Circuit Court said the lower court erred in concluding that the two counterfeit units came from MBC.

Further, the 10th Circuit Court said that even assuming a Texas-based company had sold counterfeit units of software to MBC, "Microsoft points to no specific evidence that MBC actually resold that software."

The case was remanded for further proceedings.


E-mail: danderton@desnews.com

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